BMA welcomes the opening of first COVID-19 primary care assessment centre in Belfast

by BMA Northern Ireland Press release from BMA Northern Ireland.
Location: Northern Ireland
Published: Monday 30 March 2020
Contract and pen article illustration

BMA Northern Ireland has welcomed the opening of the first GP-led COVID-19 primary care assessment centre in Belfast.

Speaking about the opening, GP Lead Dr Ursula Brennan, a member of BMA NI General Practitioner’s Committee said, “The pace at which GPs and the Belfast Trust have worked together to get the assessment centre open has been phenomenal. We have managed to identify premises, kit out the centre and staff it within 10 days.  

“I want to thank everyone who has really pulled together to get the centre open and ready to assess patients in a very short space of time.”  

The facility at Beech Hall Health and Wellbeing Centre will see patients who have been referred there by their own GP. 

Dr Brennan adds, “It is important for people to remember the centre is not a walk-in facility nor is it a testing centre.  Patients will be referred by GP appointment only.  If you have concerns we recommend that you ring your own GP first and discuss your symptoms with them. If your GP thinks you need further assessment you will be sent to the centre.  

“At the centre you will be examined by a doctor and they will assess if you need further treatment. If a patient is sent home, they will be given all the appropriate information to enable them to manage. They will also be able to contact their own GP for further advice. 

The centres have been designed to help manage workload and ensure patient safety, Dr Brennan: “It is important that patients who do not have suspected COVID-19 are still receiving access to health services provided by GPs.

“The GPs who work in the COVID-19 centres will still be able to see their other patients in the community practice. This is possible because of stringent decontamination procedures at the centre that are designed to protect patients, colleagues, staff and the families of GPs.”

Notes to editors

The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.

For further information please contact:

Phone: 028 9026 9672
Mobile: 074 0880 9519
Email: Elizabeth Hendron ([email protected])